Disability Dressup


There seems to be a growing trend of what I refer to as disability dressup, t-shirts, jewellery and shoes with less than eye pleasing designs describing those with disabilities as brave, as warriors, as heroes.  On the other side of this we have slogans that seem to suggest that a parent supporting a child with a disability is somehow a more capable or stronger parent than those who don’t share their life experience.


This is a personal favourite.

Having Muscular Dystrophy does not make you a superhero, it makes you tired, it complicates your life and you won’t be getting a call from the Avengers any time soon!

I’ll call myself out first as I hate to be a hypocrite, I wear a T-Shirt to support my endeavours as Dystrophy Dad. 


I had this made by a local company, supporting a small business in the process, for the express reason of using it as a tool. This item of clothing highlights my humorous outlook on life with Muscular Dystrophy, functions as a uniform of sorts, and I like it!

I don’t like this!

Its loud, busy and has a more than curious boast of still standing. It’s an aesthetic headache with the message obscured by varied fonts. To me, this serves no purpose. It doesn’t raise awareness or support a charity, it’s also aggressive in it’s presentation meaning very few people will engage in conversation to learn more about this condition.

It might as well just say I’VE GOT MD, SO I’M FUCKING AMAZING! and leave it at that.

You’ll also find that many of these items are sold by sellers with no interest in the cause they supposedly support. Decide on the moral implications of this as you see fit.

I don’t think of us as warriors, heroes, or special individuals chosen by a higher power to live a challenged life. I think of us as people!

These items are as tacky as what you would find in a souvenir store, and give just as much regard to copyright. Check out this article of clothing, I’ve seen this labeled as Ultimate Awareness, I’m sure the good folks at Under Armour aren’t aware of this.

Or here where having a disability apparently makes you a Jedi Master. If only that was true eh? But as for now, weak my muscles are.


Together we can raise Uscular Ystrophy Wareness!


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1.It’s not a job.

2. It makes us physically weak.

3. It’s impossible to be strong all day every day.

Things like this only serve to belittle mental ill health.



At least I agree with the sentiment here!

I appreciate my opinion on this topic will differ to many, and that’s okay, please think for yourself. I won’t be trying to tell people what they can and can’t wear, that’s none of my business.

I only ask that you think about where these things come from and consider whether donating money to, or purchasing apparel from the charity you wish to support would be a better use of your money.

Feel free to leave a comment and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @Dystrophydad


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  1. I am a proud father of a man with DMD. I would not wear any of those clothes if they were free, mostly because the wrong awareness message is being sent. Experiences and education will eventually teach the masses of people who are ignorant, but unfortunately that sometimes may be a shirt maker. I disagree that your not a superhero if you do stand against ignorance and injustice to any, and education is part of that. Thanks for the insights. Dept64

  2. I saw one of these for moms, and I thought it was pretty weird, as the genetic reason both of my boys have the condition, to ever want a shirt proudly bragging on my bravery. I mean, it’s not a source of pride! I feel like, don’t look at me, look at the groups fighting for support or a cure!

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